On the outskirts of Lawton & Duncan, Oklahoma lies a small town by the name of Empire. IZW management & the board of directors for the school system agreed to run an IZW Wrestling event using the School Gym as a venue. Little did they or anyone know that they were going to play host to one of the very best and most violent IZW events ever. From top to bottom this show was by far one of the very best wrestling events to take place in the Oklahoma region in many years. This event turned out everything: drama, humor, high flying excitement and a level of violence that IZW had yet to attain.
Ring announcer Steve O opened the ceremonies like only he can, working the packed school gym into a frenzy before the bell saw its first ring.
Opening the night was IZW staple Li'l Joe taking on IZW newcomer, the very cocky young man simply known as FX. This match was everything that the fans needed to keep their enthusiasm going. FX dominated most of the match but in the end Lil Joe’s unbelievable tolerance and ability to absorb pain coupled with his amazing high flying skills were too much for the new guy as he pinned FX after a springboard 360 splash that has to be seen to be believed.
Next up was the odd match up between two of IZW'S most hated stars: Impact, Inc.'s Brad Michaels and the IZW Impact Division Champion Ryan Davidson. Much to the disbelief of many IZW fans, and possibly to himself as well, Ryan Davidson is pretty popular in Empire, Oklahoma. The normal chorus of boos were replaced by a room full of Ryan fans. This was the match of the night that didn't have the hype of a TLC or Dog Collar match, but it featured two of IZW'S best fighting for the prestigious Impact Division title. This match is what is called a "Sleeper" in the fact that technically it might have been the best match on the card. The end of this match saw Ryan Davidson retain the title in controversial fashion, but retaining it none the less. Michaels was notably ill during this encounter and may not have been at 100%, a rematch could possibly surface in the near future.
The IZW Tag Titles were on the line next as Team Shenanigans (Tyler Bateman & Kenny Campbell) received another shot at the champions The Re-Gex (Seth Shai & Mace). Again Team Shenanigans failed to capture the gold and only time will tell whether or not they receive another title shot, though they seem to get closer to winning the belts with every attempt. Re-Gex has proven to be quite the spoiler in Team Shenanigans’ attempts at having a good time.
In one of the bloodiest matches in IZW & Oklahoma wrestling history, long time enemies IZW Owner John Zorthos and his bitter rival Brandon Bishop were connected at the neck by a 20ft Chain in IZW's 2nd ever Dog Collar Match. (Bishop faced Gary Tool in a Dog Collar Match back in March 2006). This match started before Bishop was ready as Zorthos with rolled up chain in hand, struck the first blow. A bloody Bishop eventually gained the upper hand and busted the IZW owner wide open as well. This match took place mostly in the scattering crowd of fans. The end saw Bishop lock in his new submission hold "Committed" to force a tap out victory. This feud has no end in sight, and more blood is sure to spill.
The Empire Coaches defeated Gary Tool & Bernie Donderwitz in a humiliating fashion, during a tag team match that the residents of Empire, Oklahoma will be sure to add to their folk lore for many generations to come. Small towns. Gotta love them. Bad blood still exists between The Coaches and members of Impact Inc. When IZW returns to Empire, Oklahoma, we are quite positive that there will be a reprise in this surprisingly interesting budding rivalry.
The Main Event was meant to be a one-on-one match for the IZW Championship between former 2x Champion Aaron Neil & current title holder Michael Barry, but there was an “Irish Phenom” in the house by the name of John O'Malley that wasn't taking “NO” for an answer when it came to joining the fray. This wasn't just any simple match either, this was a dreaded Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match, a match that O'Malley has had some experience in. While all opponents took equal damage, and none of the included will soon forget this match as it may have taken several years off each of their lives, Michael Barry was the one who managed to climb the ladder in the end & retrieve the title belt which was awaiting its owner while dangling from the Empire School Gym ceiling some 15 feet above the ring. Michael Barry showed everyone why he is the reigning champion in IZW, but both O'Malley & Aaron also proved why they are in contention and both former champions as well. So much left to accomplish & prove within this feud, and the addition of John O'Malley to the title picture just makes it all that much better!
This was a historic night for IZW and we will be returning soon to Empire! We would like to thank the staff and administrative people at Empire Schools for helping us put on one of our best shows ever! But more so the fans that showed up in groves to experience IZW live. You keep showing up & so will we! THANK YOU